November 03, 2004

Lessons from an election.

I realize the election is not officially 'over', but I want to make some very obvious points that I myself would like to remember for next time:

1. Young people don't vote. They have never voted. They will never vote. Even when you threaten them with death. Even when Eminem makes a 'cool' video about it. Even when they're lied to and told that they'll get drafted. Counting on the young vote (or, really, 'new' voters of any age) is just about the worst strategy for any campaign.

2. Pollsters know just as much as you and I do. Probably less. If pollsters knew anything, Howard Dean would've been the nominee and Kerry would've had a landslide in Ohio.

3. Exit polls mean zero. In addition to today's exit polls predicting huge Kerry margins that have turned out to be completely wrong, they also said that the youth vote doubled (see #1 above for more information on that).

4. This one is particularly for Republicans who get disheartened easily, (like me): Democrats are noisy. In other words, they're in your face about their support for their candidate. They wear the buttons, flaunt the bumper stickers, wave the signs, give you the requisite look of horror when you tell them you're not a sheep supporter of that guy who is not Bush. Republicans are just not that way. I was very worried about Bush's chances when I started seeing anti-Bush stickers on lots of cars in solidly red Georgia and swing state Colorado (including the conservative area of Colorado Springs). But, Bush won Colorado by a sizable margin and he crushed Kerry in Georgia.

5. Florida is over Florida 2000. Now if the Democrats can just get over it too. I think their feeling that the anger of Florida Democrats would clinch the state for them was absurd. No one sane stays angry for four years.

So, what did y'all learn from this crazy day?

Posted by Karol at November 3, 2004 03:15 AM | TrackBack
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6. After you are done voting, turn off the tube until at least 10 pm. There ain't nothing you can do one way or the other about it, and as you point out, exit polling is worse than useless. After the polls close in a state, then you can watch the returns. Until then, its all a waste of time, energy and emotion.

So go vote, then go to the movies, or back to bed with your wife and/or girlfriend. It would be a more productive use of your time than watching news.

Posted by: Ben at November 3, 2004 04:36 AM

Especially if it's "and," rather than "or."

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 3, 2004 04:46 AM

Oh come on, we only learned that young people won't vote for John Kerry... That's not such a surprise is it?

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at November 3, 2004 06:15 AM

re #4 Pennsylvania Democrats did live up to their hype. So all those freakin' buttons and bumperstickers were justified.

re #1 However, I am just giddy that MTV can only peddle sex, violence and drugs. Politics, not so much.

Posted by: Gordon at November 3, 2004 06:27 AM

#7 Americans don't give a rats ass about how they are viewed abroard.

What I think will be interesting to watch is whether the overwhelming anti-bush sentiment in the world will fade away or if it will change in to anti-american sentiment. I hope by god it will be the first or otherwise OBL really will have the last laugh.

Posted by: Vincent at November 3, 2004 06:38 AM

Huh??? Where are you getting your news from?
Young people came out to vote this year in RECORD numbers!

And, at 25 years of age, I consider myself one of them!

Posted by: Julie Anne Fidler at November 3, 2004 06:46 AM

Democrats are devoid of any sense of humility, but are instead consumed with an endless selfishness. Otherwise, Kerry would have conceded a long time ago. Kerry's complete lack of an authentic personality is the perfect metaphor, if I may borrow a phrase, for the Democratic Party.

Posted by: George Gaskell at November 3, 2004 06:48 AM

I was an assistant poll manager in an unnamed state (and have been for 10 years). If the public really knew massive amount of laws, ordinances, and regulations in place to make the voting process clear, Ohio would have no chance of becoming another Florida. Not to mention the abundance of signs and instructions placed everywhere but the voters' foreheads so they know what to do, what not to do and why. Human nature as it is, it seems like you just can't make some people take responsibility for following instructions or being informed.
Here are just a few of the challenges we as poll workers had to deal with.
1. People didn't take the time to determine where they were supposed to vote.
2. People didn't take the time to see if they were registered.
3. People couldn't remember if they were registered.
4. People didn't know they were supposed to register.
5. People couldn't understand why they couldn't register at the poll on election day.
6. People didn't know who was on the ballot.
7. People didn't know why certain people weren't on the ballot.
8. People didn't know that once you 'cast' your ballot, you've voted.
9. If people were at the wrong poll, i.e. moved to a new precinct, county, etc., they couldn't understand why they just couldn't vote there anyway.
10. The concept of having an i.d. to prove you are who you say you are, doesn't click with some people.
11. Yes, we have followed the same voting procedure for the last four years, and no, we didn't make the rules.
12. You may have liked paper better, but we went to electronic voting because of Florida.
13. Quite a few of the elections laws in place that make life inconvenient for you, are there because someone sued.

Posted by: Roberta Davis at November 3, 2004 07:35 AM

I've learned that I should have just stuck with the conclusion I made at 17: people are stupid.

Posted by: ugarte at November 3, 2004 08:13 AM

I learned that next time, vote early, and spend election day far from computers, televisions, and even radio.

I'm exhausted.

Posted by: Mark Poling at November 3, 2004 08:43 AM

I hope the world not to trust the exit returns of Wonkette ! Why the hell the whole blogosphere started freaking out with numbers she posted remains vexing. To quote Commodus from Gladiator, I am vexed.

Posted by: Von Bek at November 3, 2004 08:58 AM

Karol wrote that "Democrats are noisy....Republicans are just not that way."

If that's what you think, then you need to come where I live. Around here, I would have thought that Bush was going to win PA by a landslide. I saw cars with signs saying "Flush the Johns". I saw Bush/Cheney signs ALL OVER THE PLACE. I saw very few Kerry bumperstickers, yard signs, and absolutely NO supportive letters-to-the-editor in our local papers, while Bush supporters wrote in frequently.

So maybe Republicans don't seem as "noisy" where you are, but it's just a matter of where you live. It just proves that both parties' supporters can be obnoxious a$$holes.

Posted by: Meredith at November 3, 2004 09:08 AM

Considering that the Democrats have also lost seats in the House and Senate (!), and governorships; considering that the Republican vote was bigger than it has been since I've been voting...

Lesson X- Destroying your party's credibility to attempt to win a Presidency is NOT a fair exchange.

Lesson X+1: hanging out with treasonous vermin (Mike Moore), homophobic racist criminals (Eminem), national disgraces(Jimmy Carter), and hyperwealthy foreign financial robberbarons (George Soros) may FEEL groovy, but more of the nation than not judges a party by the company it keeps.

Lesson X+2: Calling Republicans nasty names and threatening all sorts of reprisals against them if you win is a great way to encourage Republican voter turnout.

Lesson X+3:What with the advent of the Internet and the blogging culture, the standard Democratic tactic of lying like rugs is no longer going to be effective. We can fact-check your ass in real time, and more people believe the pyjama-people than do Dan Rather.

Lesson X+4: Continually running your nation down and badmouthing your country is indeed grounds to question your patriotism, and people will. There's a reason that over 75% of servicemen and women vote Republican, versus less than 20% Democrat.

Now, here's the question: Will the Democratic Party at large LEARN from 2004 (as they refuesd to learn from 2002), peel off their moonbat wing, and attempt to recreate themselves as a national party again? Or will they retrench themselves, continue to lose Congressional elections, and end up completely marginalized as the nation gets split between Libertarian and Centrist wings of the Republican Party?
Here's how we'll know: If the DNC dumps MacAuliffe in the next five days, there's still hope for them. If not... oh well.

Posted by: DaveP. at November 3, 2004 09:18 AM

"No one sane stays angry for four years."

excepte demorcrats and women.

sorry about coors.

Posted by: cube at November 3, 2004 09:58 AM

I learned that American liberal political machine has not learned anything. Character still means something, in spite of the success of Mr. Clinton. People may have been turned off by George Bush's coloquialisms, but once they got into the booth where no one could see them, they voted for the man they believed was the least deceptive.

With the strategy they had this time around, the Democrat party would have been so much better off running Jim Carey than John Kerry.

Posted by: Mr. E. at November 3, 2004 10:16 AM

Exit polls: people voted for Bush, but when asked, were too embarrassed to admit it.

Posted by: Scaryduck at November 3, 2004 10:18 AM

Howard Stern has no political impact.

Posted by: Vanessa at November 3, 2004 10:21 AM

I learned that if you don't vote, you don't die.

Posted by: Shawn at November 3, 2004 10:26 AM

Are you not going to come back home now??

Posted by: Ari at November 3, 2004 10:51 AM

As for #4...

I agree. They are loud and noisy.

I remember, during the 2000 election, when a lefty at my workplace picked a fight with me, and then when she realized that she had bitten off more than she could chew, she got so loud that she was eventually screaming at work: "The ballots were rigged! Bush is stealing the election!"

I calmly pointed out to her that, getting louder didn't make her right, it just made certain that even more people could hear her being wrong.

Honestly, and I don't now why, but it didn't do much to calm her down.


Posted by: jmflynny at November 3, 2004 10:51 AM

I learned that Republicans are mean and evil and they kill dreams...oh wait, I knew that already.

Posted by: dawn at November 3, 2004 10:56 AM

Not to panic. And to give people a little more credit. I honestly thought people my age would be inflating the possibility of a draft, as everyone around me was pushing it (I volunteered at an event with high school students where they tried to scare them into thinking they would be drafted). I see a lot of propaganda at my university anyway, and with so much of it this time I got really disheartened. And when I saw people close to me who weren't thinking through the issues, I got really discouraged. "Is America seriously going to boot the president for the flu shot?" I worried even more after I heard our distinguished faculty wasting their breath on it.

What it tells me is that I should give people more credit. Hey, even Clooney's dad's Hollywood money campaign failed. Maybe America's moral compass isn't so screwed up after all.

Posted by: candace at November 3, 2004 11:17 AM

oh and cube, please be a little less condescending when you're addressing women. just because karol doesn't think how you'd like your kitchen help to doesn't mean she's got defective estrogen or anything.

seriously, if i hear a word about how "we" failed the country...

Posted by: candace at November 3, 2004 11:19 AM

Exhibit one for the apparently irredeemable Dems: Republicans are mean and evil and they (get this) "kill dreams."

Posted by: kelly at November 3, 2004 11:57 AM

I learned that if Dawn and all the rest of the Dems really wanted Bush to lose, they should have gotten you a job on his campaign. ;)

Kidding, of course. Tough luck in Colorado to lose a close race like that.

Posted by: asphnxma at November 3, 2004 12:15 PM

Eh, actually, Asphnxma, I was working for Bush. What's that Dawn expression? Oh yeah, 'in yo' face'.

Posted by: Karol at November 3, 2004 12:20 PM

4a. Democrats can put Kerry bumper stickers on their cars without having to worry about having them keyed or finding their windshields broken. Bush supporters... not so much.

4b. Fortunately, that doesn't matter in the end.

Posted by: Tanya at November 3, 2004 01:49 PM


Please, please keep thinking like that, "people are stupid." Tell all of your friends to keep that hope alive--perhaps in two years, we morons will have 60 senators.

Maybe we're stupid. But the left just never learns...

Posted by: Jay at November 3, 2004 02:13 PM

Drudge links here:

This was not the breakout year for young voters that some had anticipated.

Fewer than one in 10 voters Tuesday were 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000

Yes Urgate, people are stupid. And also, we are jelous of how smart you are: so smart, you've had no need to grow up since the age of 17!!! That's what I call genius.

Posted by: Ivan Lenin at November 3, 2004 02:43 PM

I thought you were working on the Coors campaign, no? Shows how closely I read your posts. =D

Posted by: asphnxma at November 3, 2004 03:17 PM

I learned that thankfully people don't vote based on the endorsement of Ashton Kutcher.

Posted by: Dorian at November 3, 2004 04:52 PM

Seriously, Inva Lenni, I can at least read a name. It was an arrogant position I held as a 17-year-old that I shed long ago, but it turns out I was right all along.

And I meant "people are stupid" as a serious political lesson, Jay. If the Dems want to win they have to take a page from the Republicans: instill fear of the opposition and condescend to the basest instincts of the people without being condescending. It does no good to point to the truth when all people want is a fantasy.

Posted by: ugarte at November 3, 2004 06:11 PM

ugarte: "If the Dems want to win they have to take a page from the Republicans: instill fear of the opposition and condescend to the basest instincts of the people without being condescending. It does no good to point to the truth when all people want is a fantasy."

Install fear of the opposition? Condescend to people's basest instincts? Fantasy?

Is that anything like Kerry accusing Bush of having a "secret plan" to institute the draft, cut education spending, privatize Social Security, cut homeland security, cut veterans' benefits, and even cut milk subsidies (depending on to whom he's speaking, of course)?

Is that anything like Ted Kennedy saying that Bush's policies make "the mushroom cloud more likely, not less likely"?

Is that anything like the sinister connotation that now derives from lefty message boards upon the mere mention of the word "Halliburton"?

Is that anything like saying that "Bush lied" about WMD so he could get Iraqi oil?

Is that anything saying the Bush Administration wants to get rid of our civil rights?

Is that anything like referring to the Bush Administration's support for parental notification laws and attempts to ban partial birth abortion as "attempts to get rid of Roe v. Wade"?

Is that anything like attacking John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act as diminishing our civil rights and/or allowing the government to lock up anyone it wants as an enemy combatant?

Is that anything like accusing the Bush Administration of not spending enough money in Iraq vs. of spending too much money in Iraq; of taking us to war when there was no threat from Iraq vs. of not sufficiently protecting us from the explosives in Iraq that now pose a threat; of dallying too long before invading vs. of rushing to war, of not sending enough troops to Iraq vs. of stretching our troops too thin by sending them to Iraq; of not using our allies in Iraq vs. of using our allies in Iran and North Korea; etc.

... jeez, I could go on for hours.

Posted by: Age Quod Agis at November 3, 2004 06:59 PM

Something like that. But in reverse, and less accurate. (Not to say that some of those aren't nutball positions, but "ban the bible" has all of those topped.)

Posted by: ugarte at November 4, 2004 04:44 AM

What if it really is you, and not everyone else, Ugarte? What if you're the one who doesn't 'get it' and has more to learn? Is that a possibility?

Of course it is. But it's the possibility that entails the most work and the least self-satisfaction. Where's the fun in that?

Posted by: Uncle Mikey at November 5, 2004 02:08 PM

For one thing young people do vote you moron! I know lots of young people who voted in this passed election and I did too. I am 19 and female and I voted. Most all my college of young people had voted. So obviously you don't know shit, and like just making up things to get angry about and post up here to complain about. Don't talk if you don't know what your talking about. Maybe that means never talk again. RETARD!

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